Michael and I watched Man of Steel at our local Cinemark as an early birthday present for me. I like the idea that I’m celebrating this particular birthday several times in the next week. I don’t like to do that all the time, but for 30, I think it’s nice.
The cast and crew were amazing. It was directed by Zach Snyder, who also directed 300, Sucker Punch and Watchmen, so I knew that there would be lots of close up or slow motion fighting and destructive scenes. The screenplay was written by David S Goyer and Christopher Nolan, who both wrote The Dark Knight series, which told me that the movie would be darker with lots of back story intermingled within the scenes. Henry Cavill played Clark Kent, which was a little controversial before the movie was released, playing such an American figure and being a British actor; however, he did a great job portraying the Kansas boy from Krypton. Amy Adams did well portraying Lois Lane. She had to have that balance of strength and weakness, which I think she pulled off. There were other amazing actors in the supporting cast as well – Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Harry Lennix, Christopher Meloni, Kevin Costner, Lawrence Fishburne, Tahmoh Penikett, the list goes on.
The story starts on Krypton, which I appreciated a lot. I can’t really remember a Superman movie that had that much depth in it. It really set the foundation for the choices that Clark would make throughout the rest of the movie, seeing the personalities of his parents which left impressions in Clark’s own personality. It briefly told his childhood and early adulthood in snapshots and flashbacks. The story really starts when he is 33, and finds a drone ship sent from Krypton thousands of years earlier. He inadvertently turns it on, thus notifying criminals from Krypton that were released upon Krypton’s destruction. Now, he has to make a choice between his home planet, and the planet he has called home.
The cinematography was amazing. The flashback scenes were straight from a Norman Rockwell portrait. Of course, some of these were in the trailer, but the scenes provided a reason why Clark Kent, or Cal El, truly loved this adopted planet. His memories provided to the audience that sense of belonging and patriotism to Earth. It was darker than other Superman films, though I would suspect no less from Snyder, Goyer, and Nolan.
The acting was very good, from Cavill and Adams of course, but also from the supporting cast. The actress who played Cal El’s mother Lara (Ayelet Zurer ) pulled me into the scene where she said a final goodbye to her young son. The military cast showed the strength and honor of humans. Even though they may have been weaker physically, the heart of sacrifice made them truly stronger.
It was a beautiful film on faith and trust in mankind. I think we need to see that sometimes, to be reminded that through the tragedy and anger, there are beacons of hope. We see it in every tragedy of late. In the Boston bombing, in Newtown, in poverty, in pain, we see the hope of humanity reaching out to each other, pulling each other out of the wreckage, never letting go of each other, even when pain is imminent, and all seems lost. I think that was what spoke to me in this movie. Not that we need Lazars shooting from our eyes, or the strength to hold up oil rigs, but with our heart and trust in each other, we can take that leap of faith and learn to fly.